UPSL Wild West North & South Recap

After week five for the UPSL Wild West North, and week three for the Wild West South, the tables are slowly starting to take shape. Nevada Coyotes still top the table in the North but their clash over the weekend with Napa Sporting showed that nothing is set in stone. Napa traveled to Damonte Ranch High School in Southeast Reno, and took three points back to California. The win put them into second with a game in hand over the Coyotes.

Azteca FC had the weekend off and sits in third with 6 points from 4 matches played. Meanwhile, at the bottom of the table, Chico City Rangers hosted Vacaville Elite and they battled to a nil-nil draw. Vacaville only have two matches played, but will host Azteca FC, from Sacramento, this Saturday and then the Napa Sporting will head out to Vacaville on the 28th of October.

In the UPSL Wild West South, San Ramon Dynamos finally get point on the table after a nil-nil draw with Oakland Stompers. The Stompers have yet to win this season, with only another draw away to San Leandro and a loss at home to Real San Jose. Those two teams met up on Sunday at PAL stadium in San Jose, California for a wild match.

Real San Jose (1-1) San Leandro United FC

Backed-up to the 680/280 and 101 exchange in East San Jose, PAL stadium’s patchy pitch was betraying its multi-sport use with visible gridiron lines and a dirt running track encircling the playing field. Real San Jose came out in their half red, half white shirts and San Leandro United FC was wearing all white. The first piece of action for San Jose was a long-ball up the right side, but shortly thereafter they played a ball out of the back and the mix between direct and build-up was curious.

San Leandro responded with counter attacks and pressing—for a spell, they dominated possession which gave San Jose a chance to counter. There was a lot of back-and-forth between the two and neither looked likely to score until San Jose broke through about the 20th minute. Off a long throw-in, San Leandro failed to clear and Real San Jose got a shot off in the chaos. The shot didn’t have enough strength in it and was gathered-up by United’s keeper. There could be a case, however, for a penalty—it looked like a player in red was bowled over in the box by a San Leandro defender. Nothing was called though, and there was no argument for it from the San Jose players.

After what appears to be a bit of a stamp on the foot, RSJ are awarded a free kick, dead center and about 25 yards out—the ball was driven into the wall and San Jose squandered another chance to put a ball on frame. Possession shifted back and forth but San Jose seemed to be the most dangerous; keeper Orellano, was able to punt deep and created a couple one-on-ones simply bypassing the midfield. San Leandro was able to snuff out the chances through good scrambling defense and hustle; however, a break came for the home town boys in red in the 42nd minute. San Jose had a break along the left-hand side of the pitch, and after a tricky cutback, the ball was well placed, beating the San Leandro keeper near-post.

San Leandro United FC started the second half with the ball, and the wind had visibly picked up. Unfortunately, the scoring did not pick up and the two squads traded tackles and breaks for 45 more minutes. Deep into second half stoppage time, San Leandro earned a corner and must have lulled San Jose into a coma because the service ended up connecting with a head from the visiting team—looped high over the Orellano’s reach and nestled into the San Jose net in the 92nd minute. The coach could be heard yelling that he’s been telling them it was coming… but apparently nobody was listening.

San Leandro somehow regained possession with the clock winding down and made another attack; luckily for San Jose, it fizzled out just as the ref blew his whistle for time. Real San Jose currently sit second in the Wild West South table with 5 points from 3 matches and will host San Ramon Dynamos at PAL stadium next Sunday the 14th. Dynamos look to have a very exhausting weekend, as they are scheduled to visit San Leandro first, on Saturday the 13th. San Leandro are on 2 points from 3 matches.

- Josh Duder

Lola Vaughn